How I Use It
I set all of my students up on Xtramath at the beginning of the year for multiplication basic facts practice. It is a quick set up of entering students names for the teacher, and then handing out a personalized PIN to each student to get them started. Xtramath starts all students with a placement quiz. This tracks how many facts they know and begins their personalized chart of which facts they have mastered. Teachers have the option of which type of program to set for their students (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division or a combination of two). Students work independently each day on their specific Xtramath practice. The program logs their progress and sends an email to the teacher when they have mastered all of their facts for that operation. Each fact gives students a smiley face, check mark, or x depending on if they answered it quickly, slower but got it correct or if they got it wrong. Every fact and answer students answer is logged for the teacher to review as well. Once students master an operation, teachers can move them on to the next, or have them practice for example, multiplication again, but in the 2 second program, meaning now they only have 2 seconds to answer each fact.
It is a great way for students to have personalized fact practice and for teachers to monitor progress. The one downside, which is why I only gave this app 4 stars instead of 5, is that it can be a bit dull for students over time. The process of the app is effective, but is very repetitive, especially when practicing for a long amount of time. I also suggest having the PINs readily available for students to refer back to if they forget their login information.
Overall I really like using Xtramath in my classroom. It is extremely simple to use for both students and teachers, and gives an accurate and updated report of student's progress. Each student page has a chart and graph of their progress that is also very beneficial to show parents. I also really like that every student can be working at their own level and their own pace. Each program looks the same so no student feels left out, but everyone is still working at their appropriate level.
The only thing I would change about Xtramath would be to include some more variety to keep students engaged when using the app over a long period of time. For example, after they have done two lessons for the day, have an interactive game or activity to practice the same facts from the lessons, but in a more fun way. I think this would keep students focused on their facts but with some added engagement to make basic fact practice a bit more fun.